Lipid disorders are increasingly prevalent, primarily due to poor diet and unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles. Left undiagnosed or untreated, lipid disorders can progress to severe cardiovascular disease (CVD) and predispose to other conditions such as diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, chronic kidney disease (CKD) and pancreatitis. CVD accounts for 35% of all deaths in Ireland and, more importantly, 20% of premature deaths in those under 65 years.
High cholesterol or hyperlipidaemia indicates increased serum levels of one or more of the following – total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and are a well recognised risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease.
Elevated levels of plasma LDL-C increases the risk of atherosclerotic disease. While HDL cholesterol reflects a lowered risk because it cholesterol is transported back to the liver for excretion. HDL levels confer protection.